Five Signs You May Be Serving An Angry God








“This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

This is the message the Father spoke over Jesus that launched Him into public ministry. If you think about it, Jesus got a “well pleased” before He did any of the miracles He was famous for.

Discovering our Fathers pleasure is the most empowering thing a Christian will ever do.

The opposite is true, believing Father God is angry or displeased will lead to an insecure and survivalist faith walk.

Here are five signs you may be serving an angry or “displeased” God.

1) You feel shame or condemnation when your devotional life is inconsistent.

Feelings of shame or condemnation are often the evidence that you believe God’s opinion of you is determined by how much you have pursued Him or obeyed Him, or loved Him…

First, God never uses shame or condemnation – those feelings come from elsewhere…

Second, you get no say in how God feels about you. God is love and His heart toward you is perfectly displayed in the life, death, and resurrection of His Son.

Third, “we love because He first loved” (1st John 4:19). Your devotional life is always meant to be a response to your revelation of His love and good pleasure.   

2) When you pray for someone, you use the phrase “If it’s Your will…”

When you are not convinced in your Heavenly Father’s pleasure, you believe life’s hardships may have been sent by God to discipline or to teach a person how to be more kind, or patient, or giving or… When you serve an “Angry Displeased God,” you are forced to pray cautious insecure and even desperate prayers for others and for yourself.

God’s will isn’t a mystery, Jesus told us how to pray and it started with – “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10).

Jesus also told us in Luke 12:32, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for the Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom.”

Therefore, anything that is in the Kingdom of heaven can be prayed to earth with confident faith.

3) You believe the scripture “take up your cross and follow me” is an invitation to suffer for God.

When you serve an “Angry Displeased God,” you often find your focus primarily on the pain and death of the cross – as though suffering equates with holiness and a Godly life.

While the verse in Matthew 16, “take up your cross and follow me” is certainly an invitation to follow Jesus in every way, pain and death were never the objectives of the cross, resurrection life was always the destination. “For the joy set before Him, he endured the cross…” (Heb 12:2).

“Take up your cross” is not a celebration of suffering with Jesus; it’s an invitation to live in the power of the resurrection.

4) Whenever the pastor preaches, you feel inadequate and determine new ways to try harder.

Jesus didn’t live, die, and live again so you could try harder. He overcame in every way so you could be transformed.

Feelings of spiritual inadequacy are often the evidence that you may be serving an “Angry Displeased God.”

As I stated in the introduction to this article, Jesus lived 30 years without doing any miracles. Then, after He is baptized, His Father declares, “This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). It begs the question, what was the Father pleased about? Jesus hadn’t done anything yet.

It was the Father’s pleasure that empowered Jesus to do all the things He is famous for.

Discipline and principles are very important, but the Christian faith was never meant to be about “trying harder,” it’s about becoming sure in Gods love. Only through the discovery of Gods pleasure are you empowered to do the “greater works” Jesus promised and the pastor is preaching about.

5) It feels authentic to sing, “Prone to wander” from the famous Hymn, Come Thou Fount

A sign you may be serving an “Angry Displeased God” is you believe that confessing sin proves authenticity. Authenticity isn’t just about confession but also transformation. Confession without transformation is actually inauthentic.

The idea that God is angry or displeased goes hand in hand with the idea that this side of heaven you are forever “prone to wander.”

But when we discover His good pleasure, we discover the powerful truth about what Jesus purchased for us through His death and resurrection – repentance, the gift of both confession and transformation.

You can read more about this in books, Prone To Love and God Is (Not) In Control

Jason Clark
is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children.


  1. Joe

    Great post Jason, thanks for the check up and reminder! Love it.

  2. Jeff

    You really need to validate your statements with scripture a lot better. In your point #2 above you say, “When you are not convinced in your Heavenly Father’s pleasure, you believe life’s hardships may have been sent by God to discipline or to teach a person how to be more kind, or patient, or giving or…”
    Consider, though, Hebrews 12:7-11 – “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

    While we should not walk around thinking God is just looking for any excuse to “zap” us, we also cannot, as many Christians have, use God’s love as an excuse to live as we please. Yes, God does love us deeply, but that love does NOT mean God cannot be either angry or displeased. Unconditional love does not equal unconditional approval.

  3. Nina Ruth :-)

    Thanks for the life-giving reminder, Jason!!

  4. Heath

    I appreciate your point and the necessity to investigate ALL Scripture to have a complete picture. While it is obviously true that God loves us enough to discipline us…I am concerned with your comment “we also cannot, as many Christians have, use God’s love as an excuse to live as we please.” That comment connects behavior with discipline. I don’t believe God disciplines us based on behavior. Scripture also clearly states that God is concerned with our heart. I believe the discipline is meant to bring us to a place of blessing, of favor. God disciplines me to make my heart more like his….not my behavior. Look at the context of the passage you quoted, it cites Esau as an example as a godless man because he rejected his sonship. Not because he “sinned” or behaved poorly. He chose to put his trust and sustenance in a meal rather than the security of knowing he is a son. God disciplines for good, for righteousness, to make us more like him because it is in that place that we receive our inheritance of sonship.

    I’m not implying this was your intention by any means, I just have a deep concern for the Christian mentality that once we “pray the prayer” we should get to work on our behavior in order to “live like a Christian” rather than continually putting our trust in Jesus and the Holy Spirit to make those changes for us. It’s almost as if we become sons, accept his righteousness…..then go right back to trusting in ourselves to modify our behavior rather than focus on the heart of God.

    • Jeff

      Heath, you really need to study the scripture alot more. If you think Jesus and the Holy Spirit are going to make the changes in your life that will lead to godliness, you are sadly mistaken. We are empowered by the Spirit, but we must make the effort (1 Pet 2:1, Eph 4:31, Col 3:8, 2 Pet 1:5-9, Col 3:15, Rom 8:13, Jas 1:22, Rom 6:19) You put the word sin in quotation marks like it’s not serious. The actual context of the Esau passage is talking about holiness – Esau was godless, and that influenced his behavior and caused him to sell his birthright for a meal.
      I have a deep concern for the mentality that says that once we “pray the prayer” we don’t have to do anything else and it’s up to God to make us what He wants us to be. God is very concerned with our behavior (Rom 13:13-14) and we must see to it that we don’t use the grace of God as an excuse to sin (Jude 1:4). And, if you read Hebrews 12 carefully, you will see that God does punish us if necessary (Heb 12:6).


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